The final phase of The Highland Council’s introduction of new refuse and recycling collections across the whole Highlands is on target to take place from Monday 2nd July 2012. From this date residents in East and Central Sutherland, who presently have the GREAN kerbside collections, and those in the remaining parts of Sutherland without a kerbside recycling service, will receive a recycling collection from blue wheelie bins.
The range of materials recycled in the blue bins is different from the GREAN recycling service, with paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, food tins and drink cans only being accepted. Householders are urged to read the guides delivered with the bins to check which items can be recycled. The blue bins will be collected fortnightly, alternating with a fortnightly refuse collection on the same day of the week – blue recycling bin one week, green/black refuse bin the following.
In the areas, which presently have a four-weekly collection from the blue recycling bins, the recycling collections will also become fortnightly – again alternating with a fortnightly refuse collection.
Stickers notifying residents of the changes will shortly be going out to households and residents will have their new blue wheelie bins delivered during May and June. These will be accompanied by new calendars and guides explaining the new service. Anyone who already has blue bins will also be given new calendars and guides. Householders are being advised that glass bottles and jars are not accepted in the blue bins and that all the materials should be loose and not bagged.
The new collections are also being rolled out to all The Highland Council’s commercial customers, though the frequency of collections offered will vary according to locality. Full details will shortly be sent out and the Waste Management Team will be contacting commercial customers to discuss their service requirements.
The new blue bin recycling service which has been introduced to other areas across Highland has resulted in 9,700 tonnes of material being sent for recycling since April 2011. In addition The Highland Council’s recycling rate has increased from 35% to nearly 39% in the last year and The Highland Council would like to thank all householders for their recycling efforts.
Chairman of The Highland Council’s TEC Committee, Councillor John Laing explained that the new collections were an important part of the Council’s drive to meet The Scottish Government target of 70% of all waste to be recycled by 2025.
He said: “Introducing the new collections to Sutherland will mean the Council now provides a uniform recycling service across the whole Highland area. I am confident that the success of the new service in other parts of the Highlands will be repeated in Sutherland.
He added, “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank GREAN for operating a successful recycling service for many years on behalf of The Highland Council and wish them all the best with their future business venture."
Alternate Weekly Collections are now common in Scotland and have already been adopted by 21 out of 32 Councils.
Concerns about smells from rotting organic matter can be allayed by sensible bin management and ensuring that such material is double bagged separately from the ‘clean’, ‘non- smelly’ non-recyclable waste rather than throwing everything in the bin together.
Householders are also encouraged to try to minimise the amount of organic matter placed in the residual waste bin by reducing food waste – households in Scotland throw away an average of £430 worth of food every year (visit www.wasteawarelovefood.org.uk) – and by composting items such as raw fruit and vegetables, flowers and garden waste. Advice on home composting and other ways of reducing waste and increasing recycling is available by visiting